What is Sleep Coaching?
The million dollar question. Are sleep coaching and sleep training the same thing? After all we hear them used interchangeably all the time. The result in the end is the same. You get more sleep. That is where the similarities end, so that is going to be a hard no.
Sleep training is much different than Sleep Coaching. Training by definition involves the transfer of information from person to another. Like a teacher when you go on a training course. Then that person on the receiving end can take that information and apply it.
Coaching on the other hand is helping another person learn. Sleep coaches help parents change sleep challenges in a direction they want to go. It builds awareness, empowers choice and that is what leads to change. It unlocks potential and it's a partnership between coach and client to reach those goals.
I'm going to assume you have read about a lot of different sleep methods out there before coming here to learn about what it would involve getting help. You have an idea about all the different methods you could use and I'm sure you feel more drawn to some than others.
Sleep training usually focuses on only one particular method to get a baby or child to sleep. It involves a trainer coming in and telling the parent what to do and how to do it. The vast majority of these types of businesses are some form of cry it out (CIO), and they are involved for a very short period of time. The goal is to transfer knowledge based on that particular method. There is typically little room to assess temperament, and family choices.
Sleep Coaches have typically received extensive training in the field of sleep science, basic counselling, child development, temperament and evidence based behaviour modifications.
I have received over 100 hours of formal training from a faculty of top paediatric specialists in North America in addition to ongoing continuing education courses. Certainly, my degree in Psychology was an asset for getting accepted into the program as well.
You will never hear me refer to myself as a sleep trainer.
Your children are not puppies. They are little humans learning, growing and developing, and they need you to meet them where they are at in their learning.
I am a Sleep Coach.
First and foremost, I am of the firm belief that my clients are the experts on their baby, not me. Sleep coaching is a slower process, but it also makes it possible to respect the family and development of the child in the process. You are essentially protecting your attachment with your child and gently teaching them the sleep skills they need for a lifetime.
This thorough knowledge gives me the skills to evaluate a client’s situation, and help my clients produce the results they want in a developmentally appropriate way that feels right. Meaning we look at what a client wants to achieve, and how they would feel most comfortable doing that and we go from there. I never come in and deliver a predetermined plan.
For me, having my clients feel empowered by their plans and confident to explore options is critical. It is a balance between coaching and counselling around a client’s sleep goals.
When my clients hire me, I am with them every step of their sleep coaching journey for the next three months. Inevitably, there are bumps along the way and having a sounding board to explore and grow as a parent results in long lasting changes. Typically, sleep trainers and their methods don’t address these bumps along the way because they offer support for only a week or two after they meet with a client to impart their knowledge. There is a rigidity to the one size fits all plan and that is vastly different than consistency! For me it’s about helping parents tune into their intuition and be the coach their child needs to develop solid sleep skills.
It really becomes a holistic approach and empowers my client’s in all areas of parenting to trust their intuition and child.
I can say without hesitation that out of the hundreds of sleep plans I have helped families create and implement over the years, no two are identical because no two babies or families are identical. I
help my clients learn how to support their babies best at all stages and phases of life. I am a Certified Paediatric Sleep Coach.